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Surfing Costa Rica 

Surfing in Costa Rica

With so much Pacific coastline, the opportunities for a great surfing holiday in Costa Rica abound. And the great thing about surfing here, is that you can stay in luxury resorts, and have a fantastic off the beaten path adventure too!

Back to the surfing, however, and unlike many other beaches around the world, the best surfing beaches in Costa Rica are not always the best for swimming, or for young children, predominantly owing to deceptively strong riptides and rip currents, which can catch even the wariest off guard.

As specialists in creating unique adventure tours and vacations in Costa Rica, part of our 8-day Adventure Tour includes a day of snorkelling or surfing. However, we are also aware from the clients we have arranged individual packages for, that for some of you, one day of surfing on your holiday just isn’t enough.

That, perhaps, is helped by the fact that we have the Salsa Brava.

Salsa Brava surfing, Costa Rica

One of the most challenging, and dangerous surf spots in the world, it’s hard to avoid mention of Salsa Brava when the conversation turns to the best surf in Costa Rica. Found off Puerto Viejo in Limón province, the translation of the most famous break in Costa Rica is “angry sauce”, which seems quite apt.

December through to March will see the best breaks, where heavy Hawaiian-style barrel waves develop in deep water, before breaking over the shallow reef, while swell will hold up to 16 feet, which should all tell you that Salsa Brava is a wave for seasoned surfers only.

At the sides, however, there is plenty of room for those of you who are less experienced, and there are also lessons available for beginners. The Salsa Brava isn’t perhaps the best spot for a family vacation, but if you love surfing and want to squeeze it in as part of a longer trip, then we can design an all inclusive package just for you, and your family, at just the right price too.

“The best surfer in the lineup is the one having the most fun”

This comment is attributed to the late Stuart Entwistle, and any surfer will know exactly what he meant. As for where those waves are, much will depend on how much surfing you have done before, but fortunately, where surfing in Costa Rica is concerned, there is plenty of choice for all levels of surfing, with plenty of opportunity for beginners to take lessons in some of the best locations in the world. Lessons don’t cost too much either, but if you want, we can include the cost in a specially developed package just for you.

Top 10 surfing locations in Costa Rica

You can’t beat a bit of local knowledge, so here at Costa Rica Rios we’ve put together a selection of the top 10 beaches for surfing in Costa Rica, that we feel confident will offer great surfing for everyone:

  • Surfing at Playa Guiones, Nosara, Costa Rica
    Good for beginners but the swell can create challenging breaks for even the best surfers. It’s a bit more off-the-beaten track than some of the other locations, however, so if that’s the kind of thing you like, go for it.
  • Surfing at Playa Tamarindo, Tamarindo, Costa Rica
    Tamarindo has offshore winds, reefs and long sandy beaches, making it a surfing Mecca for all levels, but especially good for beginners. If you’ve never surfed before, Tamarindo may be the place to get started.
  • Surfing at Little Hawaii, Playa Avellanas, Costa Rica
    The name should give you a clue as this beach is suitable only for expert surfers. Don’t forget to visit Lola’s café when you’re wiped out from being wiped out!
  • Surfing at Playa Hermosa, Jaco, Costa Rica
    The fact this location is home to the International Quicksilver Championship should tell you all you need to know. It’s a pretty awesome surfing spot, but probably best for intermediaries to advanced. It’s also one of the only surfing reserves in Central America, and with 6.5 miles of beach in all, there’s no shortage of spots to drop in on.
  • Surfing at Pavones, Costa Rica
    Perhaps the best surfing beach in Costa Rica, the adjacent town of Pavones would likely not exist without it. Not easy to get to, but as it is home to the second-longest left-hand surf break anywhere on the planet, it will be worth it.
  • Surfing at Playa Naranjo (Witches Rock) Costa Rica
    Not for the feint hearted – take a boat to Withes rock, surf for a few hours in the afternoon, then settle down to an evening on the beach, and camping overnight.
  • Surfing at Mal Pais, Costa Rica
    Originally a small fishing village, this has become a year-round surfing destination comprising three beaches, Playa Carmen, Mal Pais and Santa Teresa. Lots of surfing shops and entertainment in the area.
  • Surfing at Playa Negra, Costa Rica
    Location for The Endless Summer II and renowned for its right-hand barrels and home to many year-round surfers.
  • Surfing at Playa Dominical, Costa Rica
    Something for surfers of all levels thanks to the two-mile-long beach and surf that runs the full length. Watch out for riptides, stingrays and jellyfish!

Specializing in adventure vacations in Costa Rica, here at Costa Rica Rios, aside from our 8-day Adventure Tour and, we can create individual, bespoke adventure packages, including a Honeymoon Adventure Holiday, to concentrate on your favoured activities.

Off the-beaten path, focussed on wildlife, rafting down rivers, relaxing in luxury resorts, you name it you can do it here in Costa Rica. It is hard to resist the allure of a vacation in Costa Rica if you like exploring, and are looking for the adventure of a lifetime, so take advantage of our local knowledge and give us a call.

We’ll be glad to talk you through all you can expect from an adventure vacation in Costa Rica, and happily answer any questions you may have. All inclusive packages are kind of our speciality, so if you’re looking for an adventure vacation, or family vacation, at just the right price, just let us know…

Surfing Costa Rica

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